Nicole Marie Giannini: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board, District 2
Office sought: DuPage County Board, District 2
City: Villa Park
Occupation: Marketing/ Business Development with HomeSmart Realty
Previous offices held: None
Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
I am running for office because I want to help others and make a positive impact. I am passionate about improving the lives of people that struggle with disabilities, addictions and autism. I also recognize the raising crime rate and believe we need to focus on making DuPage County a safer place to reside.
If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
I have a diverse background. I have experience working in human services, health care, real estate and business management. I strive to help others. My priority would be to help as many people as I can. I will continue to talk with people in DuPage County, take note of their concerns and act accordingly. I believe that we need better care and facilities for individuals that have disabilities and autism. Having a younger brother with a disability as well as working in that field I can see that changes need to be made.
Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming and how the county should deal with them.
DuPage County needs to manage their revenues and expenses just like any other form of government, whether it be a City or School District. Setting priorities back to prioritizing their spending around public safety and health & human services. DuPage like many other government entities is overflowing with CARES and ARPA monies from the federal government of roughly $40 million added to their reserves. Seeing DuPage County lose nearly 10% of the Law Enforcement Headcount over the years is very unfortunate. As a women, I've seen violent crime on the rise while DuPage County has lessened our ability to protect the people of our county. This is challenging especially as someone who one day would like to raise her family here. The county must create new revenue through economic development through driving sales tax which will create revenues without putting the burden solely on property owners.
How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If it's adequate, explain why. If you think improvements are needed, delineate them.
While I applaud certain things the county has down such as, including closed captioning in for their meetings for the hearing-impaired, I do think the county is lacking in transparency and accountability in searching and finding member initiatives. I feel we can hold county board members more accountable if they are able to sponsor initiatives and court fellow board members to co-sponsor them as well. County board members are well compensated and should be demonstrating that they are their with their own ideas and member initiatives and not just voting on items proposed by staff. As a new county board member who is driven be fighting crime and creating opportunities for our most vulnerable people, I look forward to bringing my ideas to the board to address our staggering crime numbers as well as our shortage on services and housing opportunities for our Seniors, Veterans, Developmentally Disabled and those battling with addiction.
What, if anything, should be done to improve automation and customer service in county offices? What steps should be taken to make that happen?
The government needs to run efficiently and with excellent customer service just as private sector businesses do. Coming from the real estate, construction, and property management sector, where I see room for improvement is in the building department. Up until just recently the county couldn't even receive electronic submission of blue prints and permit application. Everything would have to be done in person with traditional blue prints. Edits and revisions would then take even more time. Time costs money in the private sector. Often government customer service is lacking, we must treat developers, builders and their sub contractors with respect and excellent service. I would look to models of success like Elmhurst, Lombard and Addison, who are known for it's efficient and well oiled building departments. With Economic Development being a key issue in my platform, having a friendly Building Department is Key as Developers and Builders generally will work where they are welcome.